NBA Game Previews – December 29th

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We’ve entered week two of NBA season. It was full of surprises, and some records were set, so I hope it will continue the same way. What can you expect from every game in a week that lies ahead, you will find out if you check my NBA Game Previews.

New York Knicks @ Cleveland Cavaliers

Last season, this duel wouldn’t be worth mentioning, but this time it’s different. For Cleveland, of course. The Knicks are in the same havoc they used to be. Don’t let their last win fool you – it was a lucky one. Everything related to the Knicks doesn’t look good, except for some players who could be great if they change the environment.

On the other hand, the home team made it through the rebuilding process and they finally look great. I assume that they will maybe attack a playoff spot, but we’ll see throughout the season. Their quality is indisputable. Led by a guard duo, known as SEXLAND (Sexton and Garland), the Cavaliers should easily win this home game even with the lack of luck, they will cover it with skills.

Boston Celtics @ Indiana Pacers

Last time out, two days ago, this one was tight. I expect it will be the same on Tuesday.

Check out the game highlights to see why. Everything stays the same way, a low amount of points, a very good team defense, a lot of fouls, and wasted possessions. The only difference that will make a gap between these two squads, is that this time Victor Oladipo will play. Even without the biggest star of the team, the Pacers succeeded in winning a home game.

The odds are now on their side more than the last time, but underestimating the Boston Celtics can bring you more pain than you expect. Certainly, the game you should watch if you like good basketball.

Toronto Raptors @ Philadelphia 76ers

The clash of two teams that know each other very well. Famous game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals a couple of seasons ago marked both teams in a particular way. The Raptors as champions, the Sixers as an unlucky team. Bad luck is following them since.

Today, without Kawhi in their starting five, and with some roster changes, the Raptors are not such a tough opponent as they used to be. Considering that they have been scoring 106.5 PPG and allowing 116 PPG in two games, it is obvious that they are not the same squad from two years ago.

On the opposite, the Sixers will play without their most lethal weapon – Joel Embiid. Because of the back injury, a strong center from Cameroon will miss the second consecutive game, so everything lies on Ben Simmons and his dimes and steals. If he plays as he knows, this will be a nice game to watch.

Chicago Bulls @ Washington Wizards

Third home game for Washington, but this time the opponent is different.

After losing two games from the Magic at home, the Wizards will chase a win for sure. They couldn’t find a better opponent for it. The Bulls are near the end of the rebuilding cycle, and I think they will finish it on the next draft. With Zach LaVine as the main player, Lauri Markkanen, and Coby White in his sophomore year, the core is set.

The attacking potential of both teams is enormous, the crucial difference is the defense. A word “defense” you can’t find in a dictionary owned by players from Illinois.

If Russell Westbrook and his teammates manage to slow down the furious attacks of young Bulls and deliver their portion of buckets, this will be an easy win for the Wizards.

Milwaukee Bucks @ Miami Heat

I continue the NBA Game Previews with the Eastern Conference finals at the beginning of week two. Before you say that this statement is too optimistic think about this – the reigning MVP against the NBA finals participant. The essential difference is that this is one man against the whole team.

1st DRTG against 25.7 team assist per game. All of that guarantees you a very exciting match.

On their way to the title, the Heat continue where they stopped last year. Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro in sophomore season will surely give more effort and make more impact on the whole team than the last season. If Jimmy Buckets and co. are on the same page – NBA finals here we come.

Empowered by the swiftness and basketball IQ of Jrue Holiday and motivated Khris Middleton, the number of teams that can cause some problems to the Bucks is small. Only one problem shows up, the Miami Heat belongs there.

New Orleans Pelicans @ Phoenix Suns

This is a tilt between young teams full of very good players under the age of 25. The former core of the Los Angeles Lakers (Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram) and Zion Williamson is showing its full potential. Strong on both sides of the court, NOP is a difficult obstacle for every team in the NBA.

The Suns have some playoff aspirations this season. The direct opponent for the 8th seed in the West (I doubt that Phoenix can go any further, and the Pelicans too). With the experience that CP3 brought, they can grow some hopes of making playoffs this season in a pretty tough competition in the Western Conference. If they want that final seed, they need to bring their A-game against the sides such as the Pelicans. A thrilling game is expecting us.

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Los Angeles Clippers

If you have watched the last game of the Clippers, or you have checked my NBA Game Review, you know that the last defeat was their worst in franchise history (51-point difference).

One the opposite stands the team that every analyst projected to be the last team in the West, but they have shown that we shouldn’t write them off before the season starts. Weakened by the injury of the brightest star, Karl-Anthony Towns, but motivated with good plays that they have given in the last three games (2 – 1), the Minnesota Timberwolves can be a real problem for the fallen Clippers.

Will Staples Center testify another loss of PG13 and co., or they will find a way to stand up and bounce back, you will find out if you watch the game.

Denver Nuggets @ Sacramento Kings

For the next encounter in my NBA Game Previews, I chose a b2b game of the Denver Nuggets. After a terrific victory against the Rockets last night, the crew from Colorado spread their wings. Led by magnificent Nikola Jokic, who posted another triple-double with an amazing number of assists (18), they will put some effort into continuing this winning streak.

Following two home games with 50% of efficiency against the same team, the Kings will try to improve the home record. DeAaron Fox averaged 11.0 assists per game against the Nuggets last season, and Marvin Bagley III will have his chances of making buckets because Denver allowed 9.6 rebounds to the opposite power forwards last year. Buddy Hield will be in charge of scoring for Sacramento.

To sum up, this will be a tense game but the odds are on the visitors’ side, so do I.

Golden State Warriors @ Detroit Pistons

This is the real opportunity for Steph Curry and his battalion to write down an easy victory. The Pistons are a mess, and they can’t get it right from the very start of this campaign.

The only thing that can be interesting is that the home side will maybe try to take advantage of Curry’s bad form and absence of Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, and make an effort to win or to make it interesting at least. A big number of points in this H2H used to be a regular thing, but now it’s a nostalgic dream. The winner should be the visitors, but the margin won’t be so big. The second half will be more interesting to watch because I suppose that the Pistons will make an attempt in confronting the ex-champions.

Orlando Magic @ Oklahoma City Thunder

I conclude the NBA Game Previews with this inter-conference encounter. In last night’s narrow loss to Utah (110-109), where they had a lead through three and a half quarters, we should ask one question – Will the Thunder tank this season or not? Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is playing very well, but it’s nothing we haven’t expected. But the others (George Hill and Luguentz Dort) are playing like they want to be a part of the playoff race.

Their tonight’s rival is the team with the best record in the league, for now. The Orlando Magic are playing great, defeating and overcoming every obstacle. If they continue to act like this, the 4th seed in the Eastern playoffs isn’t that far away.

The result can’t be predicted at all. The number of points, gameplay, and the winner depends on Oklahoma City. Odds says the Magic should win easily, but don’t let that fool you. It’s not true, not even close.

After a “break” day, where five games took place, today we continue in the same weekend rhythm. A piece for any team’s fan, the whole cake for any lover of a good basketball game.

If you don’t know what to watch, check out my new NBA Game Previews and let me help you to choose.

Check out our NBA section and take a look at our winner prediction for each division.

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